Legalization of Marijuana

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One of the primary focuses of America's War on Drugs is the controversial drug Marijuana. Marijuana remains the most widely used illegal drug and stirs up constant debate everywhere. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime from the World Drug Report 2004 an estimation of about 4 percent of the world’s adult population (162 million) consume marijuana annually (156). For thousands of years human beings have attempted to find ways to get passed the struggles of everyday life. With the pain of the world stopping people from enjoying simple pleasures, sometimes there is a need for help. Marijuana brings millions of people relief from pain flet on a day-to-day basis. This completely natural plant which previously helped so many people has puzzled the leaders of our nation for a long time. The effects of the drug on a individual level is what's prevented the product from being legalized. Many issues involving this plant, like the speculation of it being a gateway drug, has put yet another block on its legalization. Even with the drugs known speculations, the benefit that it brings to the table most definitely out way its disadvantages. Marijuana can also alleviate several symptoms associated with cancer and Aids treatments and disorders. While Marijuana is effective as a medicine, it is also extremely lucrative.

The economic benefits that Marijuana brings to the table are endless. Non legalization is a waste of societies hard earned money to continue to enforce the laws and jail the “offenders". However upon legalization the economy would experience an immediate influx. Legalization of Marijuana would also drastically reduce crime in our cities and form a more productive society through its positive uses. The benefits that marijuana brings medically, economically, and environmentally are considerable enough to legalize its use medically or recreational.

Brief facts about the widely protested mainline drug. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug extracted from a dried herbal female flower and other parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa. It is also referred by several other names in broader sense which include hashish, cannabis, ganja among many others. For centuries marijuana has been used as a recreational drug in various parts of the world. This flower or plant is mostly made up of a chemical compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC. Human’s consumption of the product pre-dates any historic records. The THC is often known as crystals, because THC appears on the plant in tiny crystal form.

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The THC is what causes a person to experience psychoactive and physiological effects. Users tend to experience a mild-huluciginic or high. The most common short-term effects include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and impairment of psychomotor coordination, concentration and short-term memory as stated by Zimmer and Morgan in Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence (1). Although short-term effects are known, the long-term effects of marijuana are not known entirely. While most drugs fall under a category of stimulant, depressant, hallucinogen, or antipsychotic; cannabis contains all of these properties. According to Stanley, Watson, and Benson in Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, different forms of Cannabis cause different psychological effects. Some types of pot another commonly used name, will cause a user to feel energetic, while others will induce drowsiness (2).

Now that a better understanding of what Marijuana is has been formed, next analyzation of some of the benefits Marijuana has as a medicine. It is not correct

for me to point out Marijuana as an totally illegal drug. When in fact there have been thirteen states like California, Hawaii, and Oregon just to name a few who have

legalized marijuana for medical use.The controversy is rising over the legality of such a measure as the allowance seems to be in direct conflict with federal laws

regarding the use of marijuana. The easiest way to resolve this dilemma would be to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana on the federal level.Those opposed to such

a law cite the lack of scientific data proving its safety in use. However, the use of marijuana medicinally has been used since the 1800 's until we made it illegal, with no

reported problems this, according to the Lawmakers Eye Bill Authorizing Study Of Medicinal Marijuana from the site hemp.net. In addition the conditions that

marijuana helps and would be prescribed for are generally life threatening or at the least threaten the quality of life for the patient. In these thirteen states individuals

can visit a medical marijuana doctor, a person can receive a card to purchase marijuana to alleviate pain. Marijuana has been proven to help bring troubled patients

relief from painful, life-threatening and changing diseases. It has been established that marijuana helps ease the effects from Cancer, Aids, and Glaucoma. Cannabis is

well conformed in treating spasticity, movement disorders, and asthma (Stanley,Watson, and Benson 4). In more recent years many chemotherapy patients have

insisted that smoking Marijuana relieved the nausea often associated with treatments. In addition patients with glaucoma have been proven to have pressure on their

eyes relieved and in the most recent developements regarding the medicinal use of Marijuana, it has proven to be a successful appetite stimulant as well as a

depression reliever amongst patients who are fighting Aids, these derived from "Medical Marijuana Legislation Overdue (43-45). Regardless of feelings by an

individual on the use of Marijuana, evidence shows it is incredibly useful as a medicine (Stanley,Watson, and Benson 5).If smoking marijuana allows a chemo patient

to continue treatment, or an AIDS patient to eat, the benefit outweighs any potential risk which may include death of a patient.

While Marijuana is very important to the medical world, it could one day hopefully help the economic world. In today's society one does not have to look

far to see someone struggling to get by. With a world economy that is in crisis, people all over the world are looking for government support. Sadly all the

answers seem to be starring them right in the face. The world we live in today has a sizable demand for the drug marijuana. According to Jim Benton on "Marijuana

Legalization As an Economic Stimulus" cannabis is the largest cash crop in the United States today and generates an estimated thirty-six billion dollar market (1).

Unfortunately most of this profit is not spent on production or growth, but on smuggling the supply to buyers. The American society today is breeding an underground

multi-billion dollar market. The product Marijuana has been proven to have very beneficial effects and the negative effects are very small in number. The question of

the matter is, what is stopping our government from legalizing the plant and taxing it to feed billions of dollars back into the economy? Looking at an example

displayed through recent facts:Today in the illegal Marijuana market an ounce of pot goes for one hundred and sixty dollars. In reality, the total investment to grow,

prepare, package, including shipping is on average about twenty dollars. High prices for consumers is due to the increased risk of being caught with an

illegal substance. However let’s say Marijuana became legal, it could then be sold for around sixty dollars an ounce to the consumer with a twenty dollar charge and

tax (Benton 1). If you do the math, this would drop the pricing of Marijuana one hundred dollars to the consumer and would bring the government billions of dollars

yearly.

Not only would the countires economic standing increase, crime would therefore decrease. Legalizing marijuana would give police more valuable time to

concentrate on this nations violence. Focusing in on more serious issues such as the murder/death rate, traffic crimes,and perhaps tracking down the offenders who

are dealing more intense drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. With Marijuana legal the number of drug dealers would significantly decrease and with the costs

so low, there would be no reason for a person to attempt to sell it illegally. From my personal street knowledge, many officers do not even take the marijuana law

seriously, if caught it's usually just confiscated or sometimes a small fine is given as punishment. With the large group of pot users most aren't even caught or noticed

for smoking it. Maybe from a law perspective, some law officials might be satisfied with not being bothered by such petty isssues like Marijuana and would appreciate

its legalization. The several groups that sell Marijuana continuously underground would no longer have reasons to hide therefore keeping some out of the system. If

officers of the law don’t take the crime of possession and using of the drug seriously, maybe its time for government officials to consider legalization of it's use

worldwide.

While there are obviously many positives to the uses of Marijuana, giving some acceptance to what marijuana’s critics have to say against the miracle drug is in order. Commercials are seen on television nationally showing Marijuana’s peer pressure, and how its use has become a gateway drug towards the virtual end of a kid’s life.

While these commercials probably do a good job of keeping a child from doing pot, there's a concern with how true this propaganda is. Is marijuana a gateway drug,

and if you smoke it will you become addicted to it? The problem presented with this statement is that marijuana is a widely accessible drug, and is often the first illegal

drug that a person would use. In fact it is probably more common that a person would use alcohol or tobacco before trying marijuana. So in fact alcohol or tobacco

use would be the more likely link of a “gateway” drug. However there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana is a gateway drug (Zimmer and Morgan 2). The real question

to be asked is the person who moves on to harder and harder drugs, really just affected by an addictive gene. Those people with an

addictive genotype are more likely to become addicted to anything. More than likely the person who becomes a drug abuser, is also going to be addicted to other

things. So the fact of the matter is that these propagandas that children are being told are false. While pot is obviously not a good thing for a child to use, the fact of

the matter is it will not lead to the result of doing harder drugs (Facts 2). Another question asked is marijuana use going to lead towards the craving of the drug. The

only time where a person could develop marijuana dependence is with extreme chronic use of the drug. While it very rarely develops, and it is mild and short lived, it

can cause restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, insomnia, sleep EEG disturbance, nausea, and cramping. While the withdrawal of the drug can actually happen, there

is no actual proof that pot is addictive.

While Marijuana is not being taxed any where in the United States at the moment, politicians are becoming more open towards the offering of the drug being

legalized. In recent days, Governor Schwarzenegger was asked a question about the product being used as an economic stimulus. The governor responded by saying

that he does not feel it is time to legalize the drug, but that it is time to debate the issue. Schwarzenegger looks to see how other countries are being effected by the

result of this drug being legal. If those countries are resulting positively from it, then it could possibly be time to legalize the drug, to help our struggling state (Governor

1). After reading this article by the Governor I decided to see for myself the affects that pot use has had in countries where it is legal.

After seeing the results I am not surprised to see the impact this drug has had. In countries like the Netherlands, Austria, and Belgium the single use of

Cannabis is tolerated to a certain extent. In these countries and other countries where it is legal the restrictions usually include the fact that a person must be a legal

adult, most not smoke in public, and that only a certain amount of the drug be used. Since the inclusion of this drug in those countries the result has been tremendous.

In every country where marijuana is legal crime rate is lower than the United States and the unemployment rate is lower as well. Simply put, the legalization of

marijuana has made these countries economies grow and has made them safer places to live (Legal 1). My question for the governor is, if all these countries have

legalized the plant and have seen social and economic prosperity what is stopping him?

Marijuana and the Hemp products have been a controversy all over the world for thousands of years. The use of Marijuana as a medicine and a mild-

hallucigine sends goose bumps up the arms of worried politicians. In reality, marijuana use is a completely safe and effective drug. The medical strides that have been

taken towards the use of marijuana are tremendous. No one can dismiss the facts that marijuana has helped millions of people deal with countless hardships and

diseases. I hope in the near future that our country will realize that not only is this drug life saving, but that it is also an economic stabilization. Our country would be

able to experience incredible success if the plant that is marijuana were to become legal. In the near future I hope we can come to the terms that marijuana is far from

dangerous, and that the use of this plant has little side effects. It is wrong to give the children of our society lies about a drug, and teach them false propaganda. While

plans have been set in motion towards making this miracle plant legal, not enough is being done. Governor Schwarzenegger and the rest of the California government

need to see the results that I have seen my self, that marijuana astronomically helps the places where it is legal. My hope and dream for the future is that my children

can live in a place where helpful and life-changing medicines, are legal and available for the use of all people.



Works Cited
Benton, Jim. "Marijuana Legalization as an Economic Stimulus." Mytpmblog.com. 13 Feb. 2009. 27 Apr. 2009.

"Myths and Facts About Marijuana." Marijuana: The Facts. Drug Policy Alliance Network. 27 Apr. 2009.

Stanley, Janet E., Stanley J. Watson, and John A. Benson. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington D.C.: National Academy P,

1999.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Executive Order to Boost State's Wildfire Preparedness and Resources." Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - Breaking News,

Webcasts, Blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter @Schwarzenegger. 11 May 2009 .

"5 Countries Where Marijuana is Legal." Free Articles Directory | Submit Articles - ArticlesBase.com. 11 May 2009 .


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